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Twitter breaks COVID vaccine misinformation

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Twitter says it has begun tweeting misleading information about COVID-19 vaccines, using a “strike system” to eventually remove accounts that repeatedly break its rules.

The company said Monday it had begun using human reviewers to assess whether the tweets violated its COVID vaccine misinformation policy. Eventually, the work will be done with a combination of people and automation, it says.

Twitter already banned some COVID-related misinformation in December, including falsifications about the spread of the virus, the effectiveness of the mask, infection, and the risk of death.

“Through the strike system, we hope to inform people why certain content is breaking our rules so that they can take into account their behavior in the future, their impact on public speaking,” Twitter said in a blog post on Monday.

People who have a single violation or strike will see no action. Two strikes will result in the account being locked for 12 hours. Five or more users will receive a permanently banned Twitter user.

Facebook has also stepped up its fight against vaccine misinformation after years of incomplete enforcement. It announced last month an expanded policy to include all vaccines, not just the COVID-19 vaccine.

The San Francisco-based Twitter says the new tags apply only to COVID vaccines, not others.

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